07:53 GMT +324 August 2017
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    Greece officially rejects referendum on EU bailout agreement

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    Greece has officially rejected a referendum on the European Union rescue package, the Greek Finance Ministry said on Friday.

    Greece has officially rejected a referendum on the European Union rescue package, the Greek Finance Ministry said on Friday.

    Greece's Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has called to European Commission Deputy Chairman Olli Rehn, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup.

    "Mister Venizelos has informed his colleagues about the decision not to hold a referendum," the ministry said in a statement.

    It was earlier reported that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou had softened his stance on the loan agreement referendum with the European Union, admitting the possibility to give up the idea of a referendum.

    Papandreou outraged his European partners this week by announcing that Greece would hold a referendum on the European rescue package, which envisaged the 50 percent Greek debt write off.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Angela Merkel offered an ultimatum to Greece on Wednesday by saying that the referendum might result in Greece's withdrawal from the union.

    Papandreou said that in case the politicians reach a consensus, the country will not need a referendum, while the opposition says the only condition of its support will be Papandreou's resignation and early elections.

     

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